By Kelly Sloan
William F. Buckley once said, “The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry”. Well, the citizenry has certainly been assertive in the health care debate. And yet…219 representatives still voted to put America on the road to serfdom Sunday night.
So what does this mean? That America, as we know it is finished? The great American experiment in self government and liberty has failed? That we have crossed a threshold into usurpatory government from which there is no return?
Not at all. America is not that easy to kill.
Clearly, many of her elected officials openly flouted the will of the people, in a manner that amounted to a direct effrontery to the system endowed to us by the architects of the republic, when they enabled legislation that exhibits an unconscionable injection of government into both private enterprise and individual lives. But America, perhaps unique among nations, is more than the mere sum of her laws - rather America is an idea; a majestic concept, a shared ideal of individual sovereignty, ordered liberty, and rule of law, with a focus on the process as opposed to the weight of the law itself.
The package passed on Sunday night, without a single Republican vote, is perhaps the largest ink stain to yet soil the bridal whiteness of American individual and economic liberty. For the first time in U.S. history, a law was passed that tells an individual that he or she must engage in an economic activity, at the behest of the government, simply because they exist; the costs, in spite of budgetary gimmicks designed to obfuscate their true scope, are indeed debilitating, as are the taxes that will be required to attempt to pay for them; and the insurance industry, when all is said and done, will become effectively nationalized, acting on the direction of the government. Left unchecked, this bill does represent the genesis of a grotesquely unaffordable, single – payer, price controlled system.
But it is not unchecked. America is about the checks. Constitutional challenges from the states will be a first step. But in this nation, the ultimate check resides in the individual citizen with a No. 2 pencil; the true fate of this healthcare bill is whatever the American people want it to be. After all, this is still America, and that is, by prescription and design, not so easy to change.